Getting overly social – how your facebook updates could stop your career in its tracks

We’ve all been there. It’s been a long week in the office until past a sensible bedtime working on a proposal and eating pizza. Now it’s 6pm on a Friday and the office beer fridge gets cracked open…

Yes it might be a great idea at the time to recreate a Miley Cyrus-esque twerk routine in the office boardroom cheered on by an adoring audience of your team mates/fellow drinking buddies but how serious do managers take your social media posts online?

These miners from Western Australia weren’t finding their Harlem Shake quite so fun when the powers that be saw their video and they reportedly all lost their jobs. Personally, I think the one doing the caterpillar through a muddy puddle deserved recognition for his dedication to fitness. And I’m not even going there with the one on the right using the white pole as a dance aid…

But surely in the creative industries, we’re supposed to be creative right? And encouraged to showcase our individual personalities, quirks and talents to aid the overall creative flow of the companies we work for?

The problem is, it’s not just our team mates who may see what we get up to when we leave the office (or at least log off the Macs for the night) With 92% of employers now using social media to aid their recruitment process (according to Sprout Social), how water tight do your privacy settings need to be?

Last year, a survey by On Device Research found that 1 in 10 jobseekers were turned down for their dream roles because of posts on their social channels.

Yes we all have the ‘thoughts are our own’ disclaimers on our Twitter feeds and facebook privacy settings firmly ticked to share with friends only, but with all social sharing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your friends are the only ones who can get to see your inner most thoughts, feelings, dance routines etc.

You may not know who their friends are, who they’re showing your latest post to and, most importantly, what impact this could have down the line.

Social media networks want you to be visible and share content (the ‘social’ in their name is a dead giveaway here), this is how they grow their users and boost earnings. Facebook is regularly updating its settings to help improve user functionality and privacy, but with the goal posts constantly changing, us mere mortals have no real way of knowing if what we’ve posted will remain private and never see the light of day except for a brief sharing experience over a pint down the local with our mates.

There are loads of social media scare stories out there of people who’ve posted pictures, comments and videos for a laugh who later get found out by someone rather influential and before they know it they’re in for a Monday morning ‘catch up’ with the management quicker than you can say ‘mind the gap.’

So what’s the moral of the story? The safest way to ensure that your social shenanigans become a dim and distant memory of a good night out is not to post anything controversial or P45-enducing anywhere, on any site, at any time. That way your after work partying will stay exactly where it’s supposed to – outside of work.

You have been warned.

Now, where did we put that Sauvignon Blanc glass bottle microphone we were using? And can someone turn up the office stereo, I’m pretty sure Blurred Lines is next on the playlist….